More on weathering your coaches

“For my first attempt at weathering a rail car i chose an inexpensive bachman gondola. The nicks on the side and gouges in the bottom were done with a file.

Next i heated the sides with a lighter and pushed them in or out. The weathering was dry brushed with acrylic paint, i chose burnt amber for the paint color to resemble a rust type color. The scrap wood is a tooth pick cut up and painted and the dirt is frack sand. I then sealed the car with Dulcote.

The sand is a little big so next time i will use a finer grade. The effect i was going for was to have a car that was very used and abused and i think it turned out o.k. At least my girlfriend thinks so also !! Will send further attempts as we progress. Plan on modeling a west texas oilfield area where i live and work.

best regards-roadrooster…”




“Hi Al.

Here is a fun photo, titled “Late evening after a horrendous thunderstorm”. The tip here is for those that use their iPhone for layout photos. Turn the iPhone upside-down so that the lens is right down on the ground level of the layout. Focus on the subject.

The foreground will be blurry but you can crop it out or, in this case, with the night shot it doesn’t really show up. Gives a good perspective!

Golden Key Member (and loving it)


SIA After Storm

Thanks for the kind comment, Mark (and if you want to get the Golden Key, it’s here.

“Mr. Lee Alastair,

I have been in RR employ over 46yrs retired in May 2000. Now am 78yrs old, Also a model railroader since teenage years. Settling in HO scale. In 1970 I designed the HO layout of the Walnut Creek Model RR Society in Walnut Creek, CA 2751 Buena Vista (in Larky Park) my pet peeve was lack of bright headlights on engines. Some members engines still don’t have headlights and some that barely can be seen at all. Factory headlights mostly are still not scale proficient in brightness.

I have perfected that by installing bright White LEDS in the unit shell complete with 1000ohm resister to power the LEDS. I apply brass contact plates to the inside of the locomotive shell on both sides. All the light wiring is in the shell. On the power chassis I install power connector plates on each side of the motor to match the contact plates in the shell. Note: all these have to be custom made for the type unit you are lighting. I have five sets of F7’s ABBA’s of which four sets are of Ahearn super power mechanisms and 1 set F3 ABBA Stewarts. And all now have full bright headlights even at minimum voltage. I also provided a Red LED for reverse movements on all the cab units. I have also lighted other members locomotives this way.

I also have replaced the incandescent lighting in KATO’s business cars to twin bright white 1.8MM LED’s each directly below the red & green plastic light receiving end on underside of car top plastic panel. N9ow there is a bright red rear light plus the green and red side markers. Red to rear and green forward. Another club member had 5 of these business cars that I lighted for him also.

Sincerely on track.


That’s all this time folks. Thanks to Robert, Mark and ‘Roadrooster’.

Please keep ’em coming.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here and it’s still punching hard.



14 Responses to More on weathering your coaches

  1. Question for Robert
    Hi Robert I really like your idea for the lighting, but would it be possible to show us some more details of your brass pick up plates and how they are fixed and contact the power source.
    I am very interested in trying this for Carriage lighting etc.


  2. Roadrooster that look’s super nice. Great job. I also did up a steam loco with rust. My rust is deep rust . Caused by constant humidity in a swamp. I have sat the loco aside till I finish my shed and then add it to my swamp diorama. great work you two. Love to see more photo’s please.

  3. Hi a most impressive result, but what is fact sand ? Is it used for fracking or is it the sand used to give better grip ob skippy rails. If its the latter it confirms what we already know. Fract really is stranger than friction !!


    So do I hear tortured groans from the stalls !!

  4. One beautiful job! I wish I had your talents. Thanks for the great pictures!

  5. Wow! That gondola is the best ageing/weathering job I have ever seen.

  6. very cool info about the led lighting
    and the gondola is sooo real looking….
    keep it runnin guys….

  7. Hello Mark,
    Shot taken with upside down iPhone is excellent. Thanks for the awesome tip.

  8. Weathering job is superb. I still have to try my first weathering.

  9. I had a layout of sorts in my late teens but marriage put an end to it, my kids brought me a NOCH plastic layout for my 60th and I plan to use this as a center piece for my new layout. Only trouble is over the last 5 years or so I have been gathering N guage bits and piecse and the layout is HO. Oh well might sell the N stuff…

    The detailing on the car is excellent, I have seen so many people who can do this type of custom adaption it makes the store brought stuff pale in comparison.

    Would it be possible to have photos of the wiring set up for the carriages and loco? the old saying A picture is worth a thousand words.

  10. Superb weathering making the gondola look like it has been truly used and abused, similar to steelworks environment.
    Moving on to Robert’s letter about lighting.
    Keep up the good work

  11. I’m going to be honest with you about the weathering of the gon . 1. Good job. 2 Over done . 3 this would look best in the scrap yard . 4 no rail line would send this car to a customer for loading . nor would they run it in a train. If you had it in the local scrap yard just to use on the private property it would be great. But as a main line car N0- I once had a box car that was in the car and was heat warped while the car was closed in a parking lot . It looked really neat with some applied chalk weathering. But main line service , No, .

  12. Very well done! Looks great!

  13. the how to is great nice work. the photos look really good. great work on the lighting i always stuff it up with the resistor side of things.

  14. Would love to see Mark’s West Texas Layout.

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